The Slave

Anand Dil­var

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews Adult Fiction -

Shel­ter Har­bor Press (JAN­UARY) Soft­cover $16.95 (128pp) 978-1-62795-104-3

The Slave is a com­pact self-help book with ex­cep­tional ac­ces­si­bil­ity and a pro­fun­dity that en­cour­ages re­peat reads.

The Slave by Anand Díl­var deftly com­bines a fic­tional nar­ra­tive with in­spir­ing phi­los­o­phy and ad­vice, re­sult­ing in a spir­i­tual self-help book that de­liv­ers up­lift­ing wis­dom.

A man en­dures a hor­ri­ble ac­ci­dent and, with the ex­cep­tion of his eyes, is com­pletely par­a­lyzed. He looks on as his loved ones ex­press their hopes and de­spairs about his con­di­tion. Through dis­cus­sion with his in­ner “guide,” he con­tem­plates the mean­ing of life and an in­di­vid­ual’s place in the world.

While there are re­li­gious el­e­ments, such as a kind nurse who is al­le­gor­i­cally named Faith, the book’s ide­ol­ogy largely tran­scends such dis­tinc­tions, and is ac­ces­si­ble to peo­ple of all or no creeds. Its fo­cus is on cham­pi­oning love and hu­man con­nec­tiv­ity. This may seem com­mon­sen­si­ble, but it is pre­sented in a freshly ra­tio­nal way.

The story and the char­ac­ters who pop­u­late it are not di­men­sional, and a fa­ther’s vi­o­lent abuse is alarm­ingly glossed over. Still, the fic­tional ve­hi­cle serves its pur­pose, an­chor­ing what could be a dense topic in some­thing tan­gi­ble. This is more a para­ble than a novel, with its phi­los­o­phy claim­ing cen­ter stage.

The Slave frankly spells out the mean­ing of life in the vein of The Al­chemist. Ex­pan­sive ideas, in­clud­ing in­di­vid­u­al­ity, su­per­fi­cial­ity, love, and the after­life, are dealt with in a way that is sim­ple yet per­sua­sive.

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